The first call to Miami-Dade’s 911 operator was frantic. A python had wrapped itself around the neck of the family pet, a 60-pound Siberian husky named Duke. The snake was choking the life out of the dog.
The second call, five minutes later, said fire-rescue officials were too late. Duke was dead.
An off-duty fire captain and reality TV star, Charles “Big Country” Seifert of the Animal Planet show Swamp Wars, managed to capture the 10-foot-long, 38-pound snake. It wasn’t one of the thousands of Burmese pythons that have plagued the Everglades for 20 years and become the poster child for Florida’s invasive species problems.
A spokesperson from the Florida Wildlife Commission says: “We do know there is a colony of these types of pythons concentrated in a six-square mile area in southwest Miami-Dade County.”
There are gruesome pictures of the snake, an 11-foot long N. African rock python, wrapped around the head and neck of the dog. It appears the dog attempted to bite the snake. It was not possible for the owners to rescue the dog as they called 911 and tried to get the snake to release its captive. The first responders also had difficulty capturing the snake as it reportedly lashed out at them. It was euthanized and sent to the Univ. of Florida to be examined.
The dog is possibly too large for the snake to eat so speculation is that it attacked it out of fear. Regardless of why the huge constrictor killed the dog, it is clear that these snakes are becoming a SERIOUS hazard for Florida.
A total of 27 North African pythons have been captured in the area where the husky was killed. The snakes generally do not attack humans and pets but they obviously should be reported and residents should be watchful.